The government is likely to start reducing the prices of 20 essential items next month, Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai said on Wednesday.
Mr Phumtham, whio is also a deputy prime minister, said he had assigned the Internal Trade Department to analyse the cost structure of essential consumer goods and find ways to reduce prices, following moves by the government to cut electricity and diesel prices this month.
The department is expected to review the list of all products that affect the cost of living, determining their cost and estimating how much prices can be decreased. The analysis is expected to be completed in early October, he said.
Price reductions are projected for roughly 20 daily essential consumer products, including rice, chicken, pork and eggs, said Mr Phumtham.
“Next week we are scheduled to hold a discussion with major business operators to talk about this issue,” he said. “Big players need to assist small players and help tackle their problems, while the ministry aims to strike a balance between producers, entrepreneurs and consumers.
Mr Phumtham outlined his policies last week in seven key areas to promote collaborative efforts, with a focus on prioritising public welfare. He conveyed the message to senior ministry officials, including commercial counsellors from 56 countries, and provincial commerce officials.
These policies include reducing expenses, increasing income and expanding opportunities for the public, while supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); ensuring a balance between consumers, agricultural producers and business operators, allowing them to sustain their livelihoods and businesses; and collaborative efforts with provincial commerce offices and commercial counsellors, enhancing the export capability of SMEs.
Other policies include: addressing legal barriers to trade to create a system conducive to business development; promoting the digital wallet policy to stimulate the economy and ensuring it can be used conveniently in remote areas; accelerating exports by using Thailand’s soft power and creating compelling stories for Thai products and services; and maximising the benefits of free trade agreements and fostering new economic development.
The government also plans to establish a matching fund through public-private partnerships to invest in high-potential startups.